Interview with Web Developer - Erica Hawkins

Let's get to know Erica Hawkins

International Women's Day is a global day celebrating women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.

In a series of interviews, we interviewed inspiring women entrepreneurs to learn more about their challenges and inspirations in and outside of the brand.

In this interview, we talked with Erica Hawkin, an independent web developer with a background in fashion and graphic design.

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(This article has been edited for brevity)

1. What is your company’s purpose and mission?

My brand’s purpose is to get hired by great companies I can learn and grow from. My mission is to promote inclusivity in my work and help an individual each day build relationships that turn into great networking opportunities.

2. What inspired you to start your business?

While I was in college at Howard University, I got a chance to be exposed to many opportunities available for fashion merchandising majors and the need for diversity. Get out there and do something for the greater good. I started in a leadership role doing graphic design, and ow I am a web developer soon to be a full stack web developer.

3. What is your favorite brand, and why?

I love the musician Lady Gaga; she works hard to stick up for the different and unique. And when she collaborated with other brands like fashion brands, she showed out and represented those fashions well, making everyone want them. She’s an icon who works hard and works off her creativity. I aspire to be that creativity even in the world of web development, or should I say World Wide Web.

4. What did you do before starting the business?

I did a lot of freelance and gigs until my experience started to stick so I could be an actual brand.

5. What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?

Asking for help was my biggest hurdle. I would consider myself an entrepreneur more than a contractor because I get deep into my projects and products.

6. Share your top 3 tips for success with fellow entrepreneurs and people thinking of starting a business.

  • Let people say what they want to say, but don’t let that stop you from achieving your vision no matter if they get it or not.
  • Learn how to be so organized that you can open up your process with others.
  • Fail fast, get those ideas out and polish them until they come to life!

7. How do you spend your time when you are not at work?

I love blogging, video games, and going shopping.

8. What do you love to do most in your daily life?

Agile software development, I’m obsessed with the process.

9. How do you continue to educate yourself?

Scholarships. Currently on two scholarships, one with IDEO U and the other with Udacity (thanks to their STEM Forward for Women program)

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10. Any recommendations of books, podcasts, blogs, etc. for fellow entrepreneurs?

I love to build music playlists from other playlists and radio stations on Spotify like Billie Eilish radio. My favorite playlist for starting my day is “Today’s Top Hits.” My favorite podcasts would be “A fashion moment”, “design better”, “awkward silences”, “who the f did that”, “the tech edit by Vogue business”, “time limit”, “GIRLBOSS with punk”, “when it clicked”, “the motivated mind”, and shout out to IDEO for “Creative Confidence Podcast”.

11. Tell us about your logo design and what message it carries.

The logo I am working on represents my unique perspective of coding with a graphic and web design and fashion merchandising background. Pretty tricky, but every chic and ending on the letter of my first name Erica!

12. What were some obstacles in determining the brand identity?

Oh gosh, there’s so many. It always started with, should I do this, will my audience like it or as an individual I had to ask if this represents my brand well, is it professional enough. As you know, I studied digital art, so I enjoy turning my digital social presence up when I can.

13. What are the key elements to building a brand that matters to your customers and how do you implement them into your day-to-day business activities?

Doing your research and expanding on that knowledge is essential to me, then researching your target audience using design thinking. I try to read at least one article a day, and I prefer a planned day over the opposite. Of course, it never goes as planned, but waking up to the objective you have to meet is very enjoyable. As a minority, the old saying goes, we have to work twice as hard, and you don’t want to run aimlessly through the day. Start with a plan and double-check suspense dates.

If you’d like to connect with Erica, please visit her on her website, Instagram, or Linkedin.

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